Over seventy years ago, a brutal battle took place at The Battle of Lake Jangjin at the Chosin Reservoir. It would mark a turning point in the Korean War.
Of the many thousands of United States soldiers who fought in the war, few remain. However, those that are still alive celebrated a milestone as the ground was broken on Monday, January 10 for a new memorial that will be erected at the DFW National Cemetery to honor the lives lost in the battle.
Lieutenant General Richard E. Carey, who was twenty-one at the time of the battle and one of its last living survivors, attended the groundbreaking ceremony. Looking down at the plot of dirt his shovel had broken, Cary remarked, “I’m about to cry,” to a WFAA correspondent.
The broken dirt marked the location where a twelve-foot monument will stand in memory of the battle fought from November 27 through December 13, 1950. Many soldiers died due to the frigid temperatures, which reached the negative 30s.
“The guys that I knew, most of them aren’t here anymore. I’m one of the few survivors of those people,” recalled General Carey. Those that fought in the battle were known as “The Chosin Few,” after the Japanese pronunciation of the location. In the end, the U.N. forces withdrew and Chinese forces were able to regain control of South Korea.
Carey’s mission to get the memorial erected at DFW National Cemetery was twenty years in the making.
Sung Lae Hong with the Consular Office of the Republic of Korea in Dallas attended Monday’s event. In a statement to WFAA, Hong wrote, “Jangjin Reservoir Battle was not only one of the most brutal modern battles in history but also one of the most heroic. We are here today to remember that day. Today, we memorialize the heroic fighting spirits of those brave soldiers. And today, we express our deepest gratitude and respect for their dedication and sacrifice.”
Those who were in attendance not only celebrated the groundbreaking of the new memorial, they also celebrated General Carey’s 94th birthday. As the cake and presents were being presented to Carey he said with a tear in his eye, “Oh, this is the best way in the world to celebrate by seeing this.”